*As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
Charging money for lectures given on Shabbos
I give Torah lectures in a local Kiruv organization on Shabbos and would like to know how to arrange for me to receive payment for these lectures so I do not transgress the prohibition against making money from Shabbos employment.
You have two options:
- If you also give lectures for the organization during the week, then you should arrange with the organization that the payment is for the entire series of lectures, or a package of two or four lectures, irrelevant of when they take place, in which case the payment would be considered Havalah, and you can have the payment for your Shabbos lecture included in that package.
- If you only give lectures on Shabbos itself, then you are to charge the organization not for the lecture given on Shabbos, but for the preparation that you put into preparing the lecture during the week. For this allowance however to be intact, you must in actuality prepare for the lecture during the week.
No matter which option you choose, your pay stub should not state on it that you are being paid for the Shabbos lecture but rather simply for a lecture or series of lectures without an exact date or weekday.
It is forbidden for a Jew to receive payment for his work on Shabbos [i.e. Sechar Shabbos] unless the payment is given in the form of Havlah, which means that the payment is swallowed within the weekday payment. Now, it is only considered Havlah if the sum of payment does not include a specific sum allocated for the work done specifically on Shabbos, as in such a case it ends up that one is truly getting payment for Shabbos work, and just happens to be getting it together with the weekday payment, and this is not considered Havlah. Thus, it does not help to pay for the entire weeks worth of lectures which includes Shabbos, if the payment for the Shabbos lecture is individual, as in such a case the Shabbos payment is unique and independent within the general payment. However, if you give a set price for two lectures, or a series of lectures that includes Shabbos and weekday lectures, and is not per hour, then that is considered true Havlah, and may be arranged to be done on Shabbos.
Now, in truth an argument for allowance to be paid for your Torah lecture even individually for Shabbos, without resorting to Havala, can be made based on the fact that many Poskim rule that it is permitted for one to earn money from mitzvah related work on Shabbos, and so is the widespread custom. However, aside for the fact that there are Poskim who argue and forbid earning money even from mitzvah related work unless it is done in the way of Havla, furthermore, everyone agrees that one who does so will not see blessing from his money that he earned, and therefore the best way to go about it is through Havlah.
Now, practically for your case: If you also give lectures for the organization during the week, then you should arrange with the organization that the payment is for the entire series of lectures, or a package of two or four lectures, irrelevant of when they take place, in which case the payment would be considered Havalah, and you can have the payment for your Shabbos lecture included in that package.
However, if you only give lectures on Shabbos itself, then this option is not applicable and you must resort to a different Heter, which is to charge the organization not for the lecture given on Shabbos, but for the preparation that you put into preparing the lecture during the week. For this allowance however to be intact, you must in actuality prepare for the lecture during the week.
Sources: See the general prohibition of Sechar Shabbos and the allowance to receive money Behala: Admur 243:5 and 11-12; 244:15; 245:2; 246:1 and 13-15; 306:8-9 and 11; 334:7; 526:14; 585:11; Mahadurah Basra on Chapter 243; Michaber and Tur 246:1; 306:4-5; Rama 246:2 and 306:4; M”A 243:1; 246:3; 306:7; Bava Metzia 58a; Rambam Shabbos 6:25; Tosafos Shabbos 19a; Mordechai Shabbos 246; Rosh Shabbos ibid and 23:8; Rabbeinu Yerucham 12:12; Sefer Hateruma 221; Semag L.S. 65; Shibulei Haleket 113; Beis Yosef 243; Tzemach tzedek O.C. 49:3; Alef Hamagen 585:24; M”B 306:21; Piskeiy Teshuvos 306:6-9 and footnote 66; See regarding charging money for the preparation of the speech took place during the week: Aruch Hashulchan 306:12; Toras Shabbos 306:8; Piskeiy Teshuvos 306:9 and footnote 675 See regarding getting paid for mitzvah related work on Shabbos: No: Admur 585:11; First opinion in Admur 306:11; First opinion in Michaber 306:5; Tur 585 in name of Rav Yechiel and Mordechai Kesubos Remez 189; Yes: Second opinion in Admur 306:11 and that so is the custom; Second opinion in Michaber 306:5 and Tur 585; Implication of Michaber 585:5; Mordechai Kesubos Remez 189 in name of Reb Shmuel M”A 585:12; Elya Raba 585:17; Beis Meir; Kaf Hachaim 585:49; No good fortune: Admur 306:11 even in second opinion; Michaber 585:5; See regarding that the paystub should not explicitly mention the Shabbos work: SSH”K 28 Footnote 135; Shevet Halevi 11:335; Piskeiy Teshuvos 306:9 and footnote 65